Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Chairman and Chief Executive of the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service Dr. David Nzekwu has said that the agency would not relent in its enforcement drive to recover all debts owed the state government.
He stated this on Tuesday while addressing journalists shortly after the agency’s clamp down on organisations unwilling to remit taxes accrued to the government.
Nzekwu noted that it was not the intention of the state government to shut down businesses operating in Anambra state but according to him, government wouldn’t be shortchanged by businesses defaulting in tax payment.
He explained, “Anambra state is the 4th largest economy in the country but because our people don’t pay taxes, we are number 17 in terms IGR in the country.
“Anambra state has the highest number of billionaires in the country yet we don’t see that reflect in its revenue base. If everybody pays tax, we will surpass Lagos State in revenue generation.”
Nzekwu further disclosed that the total sum the agency levied execution was about six hundred million each from different organisations across the state even though he said that many of the defaulting organisations have started responding promptly.
He however emphasized the need for every business operating in Anambra state to register with the Board of Internal Revenue and ensure they made the right deductions to the state government.
Though he took cognisance of the fact that there has been significant improvement in revenue generation, he noted that the state recorded about N21bn last year as against N17bn the state did the previous year.
He said the agency executed about 14 court judgements across the state and more judgements were coming to enable the agency to recover government revenue.
The Head legal and enforcement unit of the Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue Barr. David Onyilofor who headed the enforcement for Nnewi zone, said that the agency carried out enforcement against Castle Microfinance Bank, Utuh Microfinance Bank Limited, Osumenyi Microfinance Bank Limited and Everest Microfinance Nnewi respectively.
Onyilofor stated that the agency obtained court judgements against them and sealed them off over tax default amounting to N16.8 million for each of the banks mentioned above for 2012 to 2017 assessment years, stressing that the essence of the enforcement was to recover money meant for the state government.